Citizens Bank Funds Four Projects In Inaugural Southside Education Initiative

Date of Release: 
Monday, August 5, 2013

BATESVILLE, Ark. – August 5, 2013 – Four projects conceived by educators will share in $5,000 in grant monies provided by the First Annual Citizens Bank Education Initiative for the Southside School District.  The grant recipients, who were announced Monday night, are:

  • “The Nook Program,” which was created by educators Kim Poole and Mandy Blevins to benefit all 2nd grade students, was selected for $2,000 in grant funding.  The objective is to increase students’ vocabulary knowledge by listening to books on the Nook “e-reading” device; increase comprehension through exposure to new vocabulary and storylines found in upper level reading books; and increase writing abilities by expanding word choices.  Students will listen to books on the Nook that are too challenging for them to read, but not too challenging for them to comprehend. 
  • “SOS - Scoping Out Science” targets the 5th through 8th grades in Science, according to educator Becky Carlile.  She will use her $1,500 grant to increase student knowledge of the structure and function of living organisms through the use of dissection and microscopes, and advance their awareness of professions in which this knowledge is applied.  In addition, the project will enhance peer leadership by allowing older students the opportunity to present information to younger students. 
  • “Record and Submit,” designed by educator Teri Kimmer to address 9th through 12th grade students, will receive nearly $1,000 in funding.  This project will help at-risk students successfully complete oral communications requirements and overcome a fear of public speaking.  “Record and Submit” will allow students to record speeches and electronically submit them to the teachers for feedback and support before they are presented to a classroom of peers.  The grant’s funds will help about 128 high school students each year, and hopefully increase the number of at-risk students who graduate from high school. 
  • “Bringing Books to Boys,” developed by educator Felicia Johnston to reach Kindergarten boys for Reading, is receiving a $500 grant.  The objective is to provide male reading role models; increase the interest levels of boys in reading; increase the vocabulary and comprehension of all students through “read alouds”; and reduce the gap in the levels of achievement between male and female kindergarten students. 

The Southside grant recipients were selected by a panel representing the Social Sciences and Secondary Education Division at Lyon College.  Citizens Bank’s Southside Education Initiative is an expansion of the bank’s commitment to education following the success of a similar program with the Batesville School District.

The Southside awards banquet was held at Elizabeth’s Restaurant in Batesville. 

About The Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank of Batesville was established in 1953 by a group of local businessmen who shared a vision of creating a bank that would be committed to serving the working people of Batesville and Independence County.  Today, Citizens Bank is Independence County’s largest financial institution by market share, and has expanded its service area to include Lawrence, Randolph, Sharp and Stone counties.  The bank operates 10 fully staffed financial centers in Batesville, Cave City, Imboden, Mountain View and Pleasant Plains.

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The Southside School District teachers who received the First Annual Citizens Bank - Southside Education Initiative grants were (from left) Felicia Johnston, Becky Carlile, Mandy Blevins, Teri Kimmer and Kim Poole.